Nail Gun Safety Tips

carpenters image by Greg Pickens from

Injury or death can result due to accidents or improper use of nail guns. Nail guns are pneumatic or air pressurised hand tools that replace the regular hammer and nail. According to the Center for Disease Control, nail gun injuries were up approximately 300 per cent in 2005 compared to 1991, probably due to their increasing popularity. Common injuries due to nail guns are puncture wounds, foreign body in the eye, skull, or skin and hearing loss.

Proper Training

Only use a nail gun if you have received proper training and instruction from supervisors or more experienced workers. Read the instructions and warnings that come with the nail gun. Keep the nail gun away from children.

Before using the nail gun, inspect it to make sure the cord is in good condition and everything is in good repair. Make sure the safety features designed by the manufacturer are in working order. Use the gun as directed by the manufacturer for the use for which it is intended. Do not use more air pressure than recommended by the manufacturer. Do not try to drive nails into materials that are too hard.

Protective Clothing

Put on protective equipment before using the nail gun or if you are working close to someone who is using one. Wear safety goggles, a hardhat, protective footwear and protective earplugs every time you are using the nail gun.

Hand and Limb Placement

Remove your finger from the trigger after each use. When you are carrying the gun or holding it in between uses, remove your finger from the trigger area. Do not walk or climb a ladder with the nail gun tucked under your arm. Do not aim the nail gun at anyone. Be cautious if there is a person on the other side of the wall on which you are working. Nails have been known to go completely through surfaces. Be careful where you place your hands, knee and foot when using the nail gun.

Consider the Nail Gun Loaded

Disconnect the gun form the air compressor when you are walking to another area. Disconnect the gun to do maintenance or clear nail jams.

Do not press on the trigger unless the nose of the gun is butted up firmly against the surface on which you are working.

Always consider the nail gun loaded with nails. Disconnect the nail gun after each use.

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